Tag-Archive for ◊ Sonoma Coast ◊

12 Nov 2009 Blending 2008 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir…worth the effort!
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Yesterday, I did a blending trial for the 2008 Lionheart Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir to get ready for the secondary blending to be done.  I am hoping to bottle the Pinot Noir in the next two weeks — it will not be ready for Thanksgiving unfortunately.

I did 12 blending trials with various combinations of barrels and pinot noir single clone blending wines from the two vineyards I get Pinot Noir from — Bohemian (Freestone / Russian River) and Split Rock/Gaps Crown (Sonoma Coast).  Behemian is right next to the Sonoma Coast border so I just call it a Sonoma Coast AVA blend.  The style of the wine is more appropriate for a Sonoma Coast than a Russian River Pinot Noir.

The blend that I really liked is made up of equal parts from each barrel (90% of total volume), 8% 777 clone from Split Rock vineyard, and 2% 667 from Split Rock vineyard.  The blending session was very interesting for the following reasons: 1) the use of a single clone wine can have a massive change on the overall quality, balance and flavor profile; for example: a 1% shift of the 667 clone was very noticable, 2) 777 clone adds a great deal of body, red fruit flavors and helps extend the finish of the wine quite a bit, 3) aromatics of 667 are very good and are huge contributors to a complex Pinot Noir’s aromatic profile, 4) Pinot Noir is very sensative to chemistry shifts in the wine — aromatics and flavors shift very quickly with a slight acidity and pH adjustment, and 5) lower alcohol Pinot Noir has a much complex flavor and palate profile.

The tasting notes for the 2008 Lionheart Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, blend are:
Appearance: bright, deep+ ruby with violet core transitioning to ruby rim
Nose: clean, medium+ intensity aromas of black fruit (cherry, blackberry), blue fruit (blue berry and hint of boysenberry), hint of cotton candy, light cola, warm spices, red fruit (strawberry, cherry, raspberry) and oak
Palate: high acidity; medium tannins (soft, fine-grained but will need time in bottle to turn to velvety texture), medium alcohol, medium+ concentration, pronounced intensity flavors of blueberry, currant (red and black), cranberry, strawberry, violets, raspberry, black fruit(cherry and blackberry), warm spices on finish; long finish

The 2008 Pinot Noir will be going on sale as futures in the next week or so.  The actual release of the wine will not happen until spring of next year.  But, I might have some samples available at Thanksgiving dinner!

29 Oct 2009 Barrel tasting the remaining 2008 vintage wines

I did barrel tasting from the remaining 2008 wines in barrel with some wine club members on Tuesday.  The wines tasted were: 2008 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast; 2008 White Hawk Vineyard, Sangiovese, Santa Barbara; 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville Vineyard, Napa Valley; 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Rafael Vineyard, Napa Valley.  All of the wines are tasting very good! :)

I was quite happy at how all of the wines showed.  Here are some tasting notes:
The 2008 White Hawk Vineyard, Sangiovese was tremendous!  It has great concentration with aromas and flavors of blue fruit (blueberry, boysenberry) and cherry.  The wine is not as classic as the 2007 Sangiovese is but I think a bit of blending with Sangiovese from the Stophlman vineyard will bring in a the lovely sour cherry flavor one looks for in Sangiovese.  Also, a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon will give it a long and lovely finish.

The 2008 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, which has had its primary blend done already is very similar to the 2007 Pinot Noir with the exception of more smoke, earth and hints of spice.  The acidity on the wine might need a slight tweek just before bottling but seems very good during my quick taste.  If you liked the 2007 Pinot Noir, I think you will enjoy the 2008 version very much.  I will be doing the final blend of the 2008 Pinot Noir to have it bottled in time for Christmas but not Thanksgiving. 

The two Cabernet Sauvignons are amazing!  The wine is concentrated, rich and complex.  The fruit flavors of the Coombsville vineyard is quite striking — lots of cassis with some nice middle-palate fruit and a long finish.  The Rafael Vineyard fruit tastes of dense raspberry jam.  It is not typical for Cabernet Sauvignon to have a raspberry flavor but the combination of the two wines will be very good.  I will be looking to blend in some petite verdot to add complexity with a spicey and tannic element and some Cabernet Franc for aromatics.  The resulting blend will be powerful wine with some nice aging potential.

26 Feb 2009 2007 Seawind, Pinot Noir, Split Rock Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

Appearance: clear, deep ruby with slight purple hue core transitioning to ruby rim

Nose: clean, medium- intensity with aromas of red fruit (cherry and cranberry), cola and a slight aromas of wet pine.

Palate: medium+ acidity, medium tannins with slightly chalky tannins, medium length, medium to medium+ alcohol, flavors of red cherry, candied rose petals, cola, cedar and a hint of warm spices. 

The wine is very young and will benefit from a minimum of 6 months of bottle age.  The palate on the wine will improve as the tannins become more integrated, acidity soften slightly and the aroms/flavors integrated.  As the wine has been open for 30 minutes, the palate is softening and the flavors are more pronounced.   The wine is clearly showing terroir of the Split Rock Vineyard; I would like to see the wine blended with more clones/blocks from the Split Rock Vineyard.

I would recommend that you cellar the wine for 12 months before opening your bottle(s).

26 Nov 2008 Happy Thanksgiving!
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I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!  This year is particularly important to celebrate Thanksgving considering the economic meltdown the US is currently facing; please take time to reflect on your life to think about all the things(e.g. friends, family, employment, safety, opportunities, etc) that you are truely thankful for.  Please take the effort to thank each person in your life you are thankful for.  The upcoming months are going to be trying and hard for some people in your life…maybe yourself, so it is best to let people know you are thankful for them and why you are thankful.

I am lucky enough to have my family over to my house for a traditional Thanksgiving feast.  Thanksgiving has always been a time to celebrate the past year, get caught up with family members and reconnect with distant relatives and friends you have not been able to visit recently.  I do love the tasty food and good wine – stuffing is a whole food group as far as I am concerned.  But, my memories are of the conversations between family members especially between generations in the family.  My Grandfather, Skip (Leon), gave me some of my best memories at the many Thanksgivings that I was lucky enough to have him around.  He made it clear how important family is and how a family treats other members of the family.  It is just one of the many life lessons he passed on to me before he passed away. 

At the Glover family Thanksgiving, we are having a very traditional Thanksgiving meal.  The menu is online if you are curious.  We are going to be having some New Zealand Pinot, my 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and two Cabernet Francs from the Loire (2006 Domaine Bernard Baudry, Chinon AOC; 2006 Philippe Alliet, Chinon AOC).  I make it a point of trying to get people to try good Cabernet Franc to get them past the generally vegetal Cabernet Franc that gets produced in California.  Honestly, Cabernet Franc can be really fantastic!  If you have an adventuresome group over for Thanksgiving, do a blind tasting of several Cabernet Francs from the Loire.  I think you will be surprised at the response.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

P.S.  I will try to put up tasting notes on the wines we have at Thanksgiving.